John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said in response to reports today that Oliver Letwin has been tasked with scrutinising Andrew Lansley's NHS changes:
“The fact that David Cameron has ordered Oliver Letwin to review the government’s plans for NHS reorganisation reveals just how isolated the Health Secretary has become. The Tories trusted Andrew Lansley to be their ‘Mr NHS’ and stop health policy becoming a toxic issue. Instead, he’s led the government into a barrage of concern from patients, doctors and health experts and broken the Prime Minister’s pledge on no more top down reorganisations.
“The Prime Minister needs answers from the Health Secretary. How can he justify spending £3bn reorganising the NHS at a time of financial pressure? What safeguards are there against the changes leading to a two-tier NHS? Why have these plans failed to bring front-line professionals with them? How will proper control and public accountability be exercised with £80billion of taxpayers’ money a year in the hands of GPs?”